Right now, I’m up to my eyeballs in edits.
Why? Because I’m stupid.
Well, actually, because it’s bad timing. First, I got back some suggested edits on ♥My Book♥, and I’d like to get them done before I send ♥My Book♥ along to the next beta reader. Also, I need to talk to the editor of the first Seven Archangels novel about producing another one, and I want to have that book ready to go so that if he says “Send it” I can hit send while he’s on the phone with me. And thirdly, my Christmas novella The Boys Upstairs came back with some edits and rewrite suggestions from its publisher.
Meaning, I don’t think I could come up with a creative sentence right now even if you offered me a thousand dollars. But darn, I could correct one.
It’s funny because editing spills over into everything else I’m doing. I find that if I’m concentrating one something in my edits (removing useless words, for example) that I do it everywhere. I find myself mentally editing my junk mail or wanting to ask my kids to add more background or character to the anecdote they’re telling me from school.
Mentally I’m worn out. Correcting uses different parts of the brain than creating. I think I’ve said that before on the weblog: when you create, you need to be uninhibited and when you edit, you need to be completely inhibited.
Or to be quasi-spiritual, writing is mercy and editing is justice. Both have their place in order to create a decent manuscript.
But justice is hard, and it’s a matter of constantly looking for problems, assessing them, coming up with the best solution, and implementing them. In order to find the problems, you need to hold the whole book in your head and be able to see five or six different quantum states of the book at the same time to weigh which is the best iteration of whatever problem you need to fix.
In my case, times three.
I need more caffeine. Or better timing. Or a spucket.
Or, just to make it more fun, a short story to get accepted with edits due by Saturday. Now that problem I would take in a heartbeat! Bring it on!
In the meantime, I’ll be wielding the mighty red pen of justice. Hide your children’s eyes. This won’t be pretty.